RMIT alumni leaders share their tips for today’s engineering graduates

RMIT alumni leaders share their tips for today’s engineering graduates

In a field rapidly changing through digital transformation and automation, today’s engineering graduates must be equipped with both the technical and soft skills needed – and never stop learning.

In front of a global RMIT audience at the recent Skills needs in Industry 4.0 – Global Career Webinar, the experts tackled topics such as leveraging intrinsic digital skillsets, flexing the creative muscles in our brains and making data driven decisions.

At the event hosted by RMIT Europe and the School of Engineering, the leaders shared their insights on sector trends and skills needs to better prepare the next generation of engineering professionals as they enter the sector.

Leveraging intrinsic digital skills

 “It’s the next generation of professionals who are shaping the digital transformation of industry,” said Soenke Kock, Head of Development Smart Service Solutions (IoT), Motion Services at ABB and based in Ladenburg, Germany.

 “Engineering graduates are the buyers and users of the future – so there shouldn’t be concerns of needing to change yourself as the industry is already changing for you,” he said.

 “Our work at ABB accommodates these trends – the shift away from paper manuals to apps and eCommerce platforms are just a few examples.

 “When it comes to quality and efficiency, people want the same experience both B2B and B2C.”

Kock said that while digital skills are intrinsic to today’s emerging professionals and technical skills can be developed, having multicultural sensitivity and a global mindset are just as important. 

 “It’s also about teamwork and continuous learning – graduates can expect to be on a constant learning journey, even after university, and the key is to start picking up new skills and adapting quickly to the new things that are coming your way,” he said.

 “Have confidence in yourself and your own skills because everyone is unique – the field is so broad that you can be confident you’ll find your place in it.”  

RMIT Europe global webinar Experts in Australia, Germany and Vietnam shared their views at RMIT's recent global career webinar on Skill needs in Industry 4.0.

Harnessing the human skill of creativity

 “Automation as a result of digital transformation offers opportunities for individuals to grow, learn and take on jobs that are more engaging and enjoyable,” said Luke Preston, Industrialisation Director at Carbon Revolution and based in based in Geelong, Australia.

 “Automation typically automates the more physically challenging and mundane aspects of a job, leaving behind the parts which are more mentally stimulating,” he said. 

 “If you look at some of the things that we automate in the automotive industry, whether it’s deflashing parts or sanding, it’s often the really physical, repetitive and less enjoyable tasks, which can even result in injury over an extended period of time.

 “Automation gives these workers the opportunity to progress and to become the machine operators and the robot programmers –  to really advance themselves and grow and use the mental capacity that everyone has.” 

 Preston said what’s also unlikely to be automated is creativity. 

 “The human skill of creativity will carry forward as automation continues to transform sectors,” he said. 

“This skill sits behind everything we do and helps us to find creative solutions to challenges. And it’s one of the things I enjoy the most about my job.”

Personalising user experiences

“Data driven decisions are key for companies looking to personalise customer experiences,” said Nghiem Le, Founder and CEO of DataBrain and based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Sharing his perspectives through the lens of a marketer working with clients in South East Asia, Nghiem said that the ability to personalise customer interactions is key across all sectors – including automotive, manufacturing, hospitality and retail. 

 “As Soenke referenced, the lines between expectations in a B2B and B2C environment are becoming increasingly blurred,” he said.

 “A big part of our work is helping companies with face recognition and personalisation technology using data, machine learning and computer vision. 

 “By having a deep understanding of customer interaction across various touch points, companies can use this data to enhance the customer experience.”

Nghiem said consumers today demand personalised experiences – and this can be delivered through data science and machine learning technology.

Story: Karen Matthews

30 October 2020


30 October 2020


  • Science and technology
  • Alumni
  • RMIT Europe
  • Engineering

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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.